The India Centre

Shri Gutkeshwar Mandir

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Shri Gutkeshwar Mahadev is a small temple in Indore. Pandit Mithilesh Trivedi and his family have taken care of it for five generations now. Devi Ahilyabai Holkar established it before 1851, where Lord Shiva was placed in the form of “Baan Ling”. Here, the devotees have always worshiped Lord Shiva (who resides with Goddess Parvati) as Shri Gutkeshwar Mahadev, hence the temple’s name. The temple was also named so because the murti was small in size. The Holkars were a Maratha clan, who later came to rule over a part of Central India, and Indore became a part of this kingdom. It was tradition for the Holkars to begin every task by offering prayers to Lord Shiva. Devi Ahilyabai Holkar, or Ma Saaheb (as Mithilesh ji calls her), was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. Devi Ahilyabai Holkar constructed several temples of Lord Shiva and several banks of revered rivers like the river Narmada. She was also responsible for the renovation of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Initially, when the temple was built, darshan was possible while facing the East. It was considered auspicious for people to begin any task by visiting a temple. The temple was soon renovated, and the main gates of the temple were moved to face West. This was so that people could get darshan from the castle (which was in towards the west of the temple). And so, before every critical task, event, or battle, people or army from the castle would pray at this temple for success. Through this project, I was able to understand the rich history of this unassuming temple in my neighbourhood.

Area of Study: Indian Philosophy
Team Details:
  • Soumya Tiwari
    Undergraduate Student
    Major: Psychology | Minor: Design